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MacEniry, (Mac)Henry, Fitzhenry
There are some five thousand persons in Ireland to-day bearing the surname Henry - without O or Mac. The majority of these are Ulstermen formerly called O'Henry, the Irish form being H hInneirghe. the head of this sept was chief of Cullentra in Co. Tyrone whose territory at one time extended to the valley of Glenconkeine in Co. Derry.
Fitzhenry, sometimes abbreviated to Henry, is the name of a Norman family chiefly associated with Co. Wexford but having a branch in Connacht. The latter, becoming hibernicized like so many Norman families in Connacht, were in the sixteenth century records regarded as an Irish sept: they were tributary to the O'Flahertys of Moycullen and Ballynahinch and were called Mac Einri in Irish, which in due course was made MacHenry in English.
MacHenry is also occasionally to be found as a synonym of MacEnery, in Irish Mac Inneirghe: one of the anglicized variants of this is Kiniry which, pronounced to thyme with the English word enquiry, is phonetically nearer to the principal form than MacEnery. The sept in question was one of the Ui Cairbre group, of the same stock as the O'Donovans: they were located in the barony of Upper Connelloe, Co. Limerick, at Corcomohid, now Castletown MacEnery. This name is still quite well known in Co. Limerick.
Three James MacHenrys are noteworthy; one (1753-1816) became an American citizen and was private secretary to George Washington; another (1785-1845) was a poet and a novelist; the third (1816-1891), son of the foregoing, was a leading American financier. James Henry (1798-1876), a product of Trinity College, Dublin, was famous for his Virgilian researches. Mrs. Fitzhenry was a celebrated Irish actress towards the end of the eighteenth century. Augustine Henry (1857-1930), the Irish botanist, will be remembered by the names of the many species of trees and shrubs he discovered, chiefly in Asia, which bear the epithet Henryana.
I am indebted to Mr. T. O Raifteartaigh for the information that the Ulster Henrys have other potential origins besides the one I have suggested here: they can be O hAiniarriadh, an Oriel sept, or Mac Enri, a Siol Eoghain family of the Bannside.